US-China tension could drive PhD market to Europe

Countries such as the UK and Germany could stand to strengthen their research bases as a result of US-China tensions by attracting more high-quality doctoral students.

Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the University of Oxford, said there was potential “for the US-China” row “to turn into a substantial shift in the pattern of mobility out of China” in the coming years. This could lead to a significant increase in the number of PhD students wanting to study in some European nations rather than in the US.

However, despite this potential benefit for the UK, Brexit could undermine the country’s attractiveness for doctoral students if the country loses access to European research funding, Prof. Marginson said.